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General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406

Additional Contacts: James Booker, (903) 670-2266

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — June 24, 2011

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center Gearing up for July 4 Fireworks

ATHENS, Texas—Preparations are under way for the annual Fourth of July fireworks show at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC). The show will last approximately one-half hour and is one of the biggest in East Texas.

The fireworks show is directed and produced by Alpha-Lee Enterprises, Inc., of Liverpool, Texas. The show is a Keep Athens Beautiful event.

Even though TFFC will be closed to regular visitation during the day, it will open at 4:00 p.m. with free admission for the fireworks show. Visitors are encouraged to fish in the stocked casting pond while waiting for the fireworks, which will begin at dark.

No license is required to fish, and bait and tackle are furnished for free as long as the supply lasts. Fishing is catch-and-release only; no harvesting will be allowed. Fishing ends approximately one-half hour before the fireworks begin.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and people are encouraged to bring picnics. KCKL (FM 95.9) will broadcast patriotic music during the show.

Pets, alcohol, tobacco products and private fireworks, including “snap caps” and sparklers, are not allowed.

The fireworks show is sponsored and paid for by the City of Athens, local businesses and individuals.

Contributors include: City of Athens; The Cain Foundation; East Texas Medical Center, Athens; First State Bank; Carol & Pat Wallace; Harold Smitson MD, East Texas Radiological Consultants and Prosperity Bank.

Also: Athens Marina, LTD; Lance and Kathryn Etcheverry; Stephen and Karen Jones; Ellen Key; Lake Athens Property Owners Assoc. and Charlie and Cindy Akin.

Also: Phoenix Landscape Services; Athens Bank; Tom and Becky Abbott; Carol Barton; Jerry and Vicki Beeler; Robert W. Bushnell; Dalton Family Properties; Bill and Carmen Hunt; Bryon and Tamara Lichtenberg; McCord Properties; Mamie Stafford; David and Melinda Thomas; Sam and Karen Whitten; Charles and Carletta Ramsey; The Sheldon Family; Southside Bank; Brian Ficke; Peggy and Bob Gould and Athens Chamber of Commerce.

The event has become an area tradition, with many people dressing in red, white and blue in keeping with the holiday theme.

Parking is available in the main TFFC parking lot and in an overflow parking area on Peninsula Point Road. Persons using the overflow parking area may enter through Gate C, which is across the street from the parking area.

For more information or directions, call (903) 676-2277.

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